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Congratulations Class of 2018

Congratulations Class of 2018 photo

Honoring Those Who Make Harborfields a Better Place

Honoring Those Who Make Harborfields a Better Place photo

During the last Board of Education Meeting of the 2017-18 school year, members of the school community were recognized for their hard work and dedication to excellence. Faculty, staff, and community members who went above and beyond this year were recognized, as well as those who were retiring, and moving into a new season of life.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni welcomed all in attendance, and remarked on the special nature of the night, for both award winners and retirees.

“This night is unique in that it marks the beginning of a new chapter for some, but also recognizes the passion and dedication that’s been put into our school system every day,” said Dr. Ianni, “and it gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve gone through—to really step back and realize the importance of all we’ve contributed.”

Principals and central administrators congratulated each retiree individually, recalling special moments throughout their career, and commended them for all of their hard work.

The retirees are as follows:
Carol Abrams, Oldfield Middle; Valerie Brosnan, District Office; Janice Cammer, Oldfield Middle; Susan Curasi, Oldfield Middle; Ellen Gillie, District; Stuart Horowitz, Harborfields High School and Oldfield Middle; Ilene Kalmar, Washington Drive; Paul Keys, Harborfields High School; Dake Lerner, District; Aspasia Mally, Harborfields High School; Judith Russell, Harborfields High School; Kathleen Santomauro, Washington Drive, and Richard Stanfield, Washington Drive.

Local members of the school community were also recognized by the Board for going above and beyond to make the Harborfields School District a better place.

“These are all special people who give their best every day to make Harborfields the way it is,” said Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Human Resources Dr. Rory Manning, “and they deserve to be recognized for all they do.”

The following were recognized: Tim Russo, Administrator; Joseph Maiello, Teacher; Jennifer Washington, Teacher; Lynda Abner, Support Staff; Frank Mondelli, Custodial Staff; Karin Fey, Community Member; Eric Gerde, Community Member; Kelly Walker, Community Member.

Additionally, Executive Director for Instructional Services Jordan Cox was recognized for having been selected by Wester Suffolk BOCES Model Schools program as the 2018 Administrator of the year, and teachers Augie Rettino and Jennifer Washington were recognized for being selected by Wester Suffolk BOCES Model Schools for creating a “Books Club for the 21st Century”, and earning a grant for the school.

Exploring Strings at TJL

Exploring Strings at TJL photo
Exploring Strings at TJL photo 2
As the school year comes to a close, the music program at Thomas J. Lahey wrapped up another successful year of inspiring students to explore music.

Third-grade students at Thomas J. Lahey were thankful to have the learned stringed instruments through the third-grade string program that was reinstated last year, and were impressed with the beauty they could create together in an orchestra.

“It is amazing how much the students can accomplish on their instruments at such a young age,” said program director Cathy Ferraro. “Starting in the third-grade really helps to give them that edge on their future musical endeavors, and teaches them great lessons in responsibility and perseverance along the way.”

Third and fourth grade orchestra students were invited to watch and participate in a fifth-grade orchestra open rehearsal— mixing into the orchestra setup, and observe the students as they performed their spring concert music. They participated in playing some familiar songs, such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Hot Cross Buns.” The third and fourth grade students were so excited to be a part of this rehearsal, and were encouraged to continue in their orchestra involvement at TJL and beyond.

In addition, string students got to watch and speak to an expert and professional bass expert, Glenn Saunders, on June 5. Mr. Saunders’ presentation involved playing for the students, coaching them on their own playing, and talking about the role of the bass in the orchestra. “

Lacrosse Team Recognized

lacrosse photo
Last night, the Harborfields High School boys’ varsity lacrosse team was presented a proclamation by Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and the town board in recognition of the team winning the Suffolk County Class Championship this year.

The team was presented certificates and a proclamation was presented to coaches Glenn Lavey, Ryan Conroy and Justin Sheppard, along with Superintendent Dr. Francesco Ianni and Athletic Director John Valente.

Standing up for others

Standing up for others photo
Lina Tornese, an eighth grader at Oldfield Middle, was recently named a recipient of the Annual Friedlander Upstander Award. She was one of three Suffolk County recipients.

This award, sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center and the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, and in partnership with both the Suffolk and Nassau County Police Departments, awards students who have shown themselves to “Upstanders” against any type of intolerance. Each student selected is given a $2,500 educational scholarship.

Educators nominate their students and are required to attest to the student’s character and how they stand up for others.

Lina’s guidance counselor, Mary Fagan, called into account the many kind things Lina has done for her classmates, and how she tries to be a voice for those who don’t know how to stand up for themselves.

“Lina always goes that extra mile to make a difference,” said Mrs. Fagan, “and she always encourages her classmates to do the same.”

Nationwide Science Olympiad Winners

Nationwide Science Olympiad Winners photo
Recently, students from Oldfield Middle School who participated in the nation-wide Science Olympiad received high scores in their competing categories! This contest is an annual science trivia competition that middle schools participate in across the country.

As a group, the participating OMS students placed third overall nationally. Student Matthew Prieto placed first overall individually in the nation, and Guantian (Terry) Tao placed first in the category of Earth Science. Tied for second place in Earth Science was Alison Ryan, Chris Costa and Jacob Siegel. Congratulations to these incredible students!

Nationally Named Masters of Words

Nationally Named Masters of Words photo
Nationally Named Masters of Words photo 2
Nationally Named Masters of Words photo 3
Nationally Named Masters of Words photo 4
Two teams representing Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School recently earned the highest honors in the 2017-18 WordMasters Challenge! This challenge is a national vocabulary competition that nearly 150,000 students participate in annually.

In addition, fifth-grader Amelia Freiberger also earned individual Highest Honors in the overall competition with a cumulative score of 58 out of a possible 60 points. Highest Honors are reserved for students who place among the top 10-15 students in their division. Over 18,000 fifth grade students participated.

Overall, the TJL fourth grade team placed third nationally among 293 schools in the overall competition with a cumulative score of 558 points out of a possible 600 for the 2017-18 school year. The fifth grade team finished the year in fifth place from among 315 teams, with a total of 547 points.

The following students finished with High Honors:
From grade four: Rhys Walter. Jackson Dunham, Anna Clayton, Julian Tchinnis, Talia Steinberg, Brendan Schmitt, Ava Vandor, Christopher Palermo, Abigail Durham, Joseph Attonito, Elijah Asaro, & Porter Coleman.
From grade five: Amelia Freiberger, Delilah Shapiro, Hartley Semmes, Emily Xie, Peter Rocco, Samantha Urmaza, Leah Vapnyar, Francis DeGregorio, Eliza Michalopoulos, Noah Tognon, Riley Kast & Quinn Johnson-Wemyss.

Congratulations to all of these outstanding students!

Students Contribute to Birthday Wishes

Students Contribute to Birthday Wishes photo

Fifth-graders TJL spent time creating goodie bags for Birthday Wishes, an organization that helps provide the joy of a birthday party for homeless children, on June 6.

In an effort to make a small difference in the lives of children who don’t have homes, students from Robyn Weber and Dr. Gervaise Jordan’s fifth grade classes each brought in something fun to donate to help a child in need experience the joy of a birthday party. Each item brought was required to be enough for 24 goodie bags, and each group was made up of seven students. Within groups, students created an assembly line-like system, rotating bags around the desk and stuffing one of every item into each. The students had fun working together for this cause, and completed the task speedily.

“It’s a great organization that makes it really easy for anyone to get involved,” said Ms. Weber, “and it’s always important to teach kids how to give of themselves to others who aren’t as privileged as they are.”

All-Star Awards at OMS

All-Star Awards at OMS photo
Outstanding students at Oldfield Middle School were recognized with “All-Star Awards” on May 22. Each student nominated for this award contributes greatly to the OMS community in a different way, displaying character, integrity, resilience, and kindness. Students recognized for an All-Star Award may have also achieved academic gains or shown an overall positive attitude. The selection process was difficult for each teacher, as each they were only permitted to choose one student per grade.

Student nominees attended a breakfast award ceremony that honored them with a trophy and certificate.

“They are the positive role models and take-charge leaders of Oldfield Middle,” said OMS guidance counselor Dahlia Roemer.

Harborfields is “No Place for Hate”

Harborfields is “No Place for Hate” photo
Harborfields is “No Place for Hate” photo 2
All four schools within the district have been recognized by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as a “No Place for Hate School.” This organization, committed to making steps towards a hate-free world, implements anti-bias educational programs in schools to teach students to be inclusive and unprejudiced. Over 1,600 schools across the country have joined this movement.

On May 24, both staff and student representatives from Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School attended the recognition ceremony to accept the awards and a banner for each school. In addition to these distinctions, both TJL and Harborfields High School were named Gold Star Schools.

Senior Awards 2018

Senior Awards 2018 photo
Harborfields High School seniors were recognized for their exceptional academic achievements, acts of citizenship and service at the school’s year-end annual senior awards ceremony on May 22. In addition to in-school program awards, over 30 memorial and organizational scholarships were presented.

Principal Tim Russo announced Emma Johnston and Sarah Katz as the Class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, and commended them for their dedication to academic success during the entirety of their high school career. In addition, Mr. Russo announced the other eight students who comprised the school’s top ten graduating seniors.

The following are the top 10 students in the graduating Class of 2018: Emma Johnston, Sarah Katz, Julia Spande, Jay Best, Justin Minerva, Gavin Small, Julianna Cavallaro, Liam Cordero, Erin Tucker and Rachel Scheff.

A plaque with their names was added to the Wall of Scholars, which is affixed to the hallway outside of the auditorium.

The district extends its congratulations to all of this year’s outstanding students!

Student-Athletes Commit

Student-Athletes Commit photo
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Student-Athletes Commit photo 3
Twenty-three of Harborfields High Schools’ promising student-athletes signed their national letters of intent on May 21. A special breakfast was held in the high school’s all-purpose room to celebrate the students’ commitment to play sports at a collegiate level. Families and loved ones were also present in support of the students’ decisions.

Director of Athletics John Valente congratulated students on their excellence in their chosen sport. Mr. Valente also encouraged the athletes to be proud of their accomplishments, being that they represent a portion of the less-than-one-present of students across the nation that have the opportunity to play on a collegiate level.

Harborfields athletes, corresponding colleges, and sports:

Andrew Derasmo, Saint Joseph’s University, Lacrosse
Carly Malico, Molloy College, Field Hockey
Erin Tucker, Brown University, Lacrosse
Gavin Buda, Hobart College, Football
Gianna Bifulco, Girls Lacrosse, Stony Brook
Hannah Spencer, Tufts University, Swimming
Isabelle French, Cortland University, Swimming
Jimmy Bifulco, Adelphi University, Lacrosse
Max Hafen, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Swimming
Pat Healy, Columbia University, Golf
Stefanie Walsh, American University, Lacrosse
Anthony Christy, Morrisville State College, Football
Chris Savaglio, St. Olaf College, Football
PJ Clementi, Amherst College, Lacrosse
Andre Chi, Methodist University, Golf
Drew Fresolo, Buffalo State University, Football
Elora Sherman, SUNY Plattsburgh, Volleyball

Alexandra Madden, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Volleyball
Lucas Kollmer, SUNY Geneseo, Lacrosse
Tommy DeVito, SUNY Geneseo, Lacrosse
Mike Pasquaretta, Assumption College, Lacrosse
Dana Glackin, Middlebury College, Track and Field
Kailey Uresk, College of New England, Track and Field

TJL Battle of the Books

TJL Battle of the Books photo
TJL Battle of the Books photo 2
TJL Battle of the Books photo 3
Grade 3 LEAP students at Thomas J. Lahey had a Battle of the Books competition on May 19th. During the competition, students worked in teams to answer trivia questions from books they’ve read (independently) throughout the year. The students did a phenomenal job working together, and demonstrating knowledge they retained from each book. Some of the book titles included, Molly’s Pilgrim, My Father’s Dragon, Freckle Juice, and Charlotte’s Web, and more.

“The Battle of the Books reinforces their love of reading and encourages collaboration,” said Assistant Principal Mary Williams, “As well as teamwork and good sportsmanship.”

VIDEO: Simple Acts That Give Back

Simple Acts That Give Back image

Math 24 Night at TJL

Math 24 Night at TJL photo
Recently, students from grades 3-5 were invited to Math 24 night, a tournament-style game night revolving around math problems. Over 80 students attended and participated using math skills they’ve learned in the classroom to solve each challenge.

25 Harborfields High School students volunteered their night to act as judges, and went through a mini-training prior to the event. The event, sponsored by the PTA, also gave out door prizes throughout the night. The night not only helped student sharpen their math skills, but was a lot of fun!

Trophies for first place:
Grade 3: Alec Gerde
Grade 4: Kate Kenrick
Grade 5: Emily Xie

Medal Winners
Grade 3: Brian Henry, Aiden Chen, Justin Henry
Grade 4: Rhys Walter, Christopher Palermo, Grey Wilkens
Grade 5: Bridget Hickey, Abby Buckley, Megan Condolff”

Fit Club Places First

Fit Club Places First photo
Students at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School who participate in the school’s Fit Club finished first out of 24 schools in the 2nd Annual Suffolk Zone Fit Club Competition on May 8th. The goal of Fit Clubs is to help students learn how to live active, healthy lifestyles, while being a part of a team, tackling challenges, and having fun.

The competition, which took place at Lincoln Ave. Elementary School in Sayville, consisted of teams comprised of students from grades four and five all throughout Suffolk County. Each school created four teams of 24 students—six boys and six girls from grades four and five. Events included exercises such as box jumps, bear crawls, sit-ups, agility runs and tire flips. The competition was fierce but the members of the team demonstrated tremendous grit, teamwork, and perseverance from start to finish.

Nationwide Penmanship Award and Tornado News Team Recognized

Nationwide Penmanship Award and Tornado News Team Recognized photo
Nationwide Penmanship Award and Tornado News Team Recognized photo 2
Nationwide Penmanship Award and Tornado News Team Recognized photo 3
At the district’s May Board of Education meeting, Washington Drive second-grader Noah Bradford was recognized for winning the nationwide Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest! This contest awards students, kindergarten through eighth grade, with outstanding print and cursive skills. Noah is one of nine winners chosen from over 280,000 student applicants.

Noah received a $500 check, a medal, a trophy and a $1,000 coupon for the school to purchase Zaner-Bloser school supplies.

Additionally, the Tornado News Team was recognized for all of their hard work, and bringing forth the district’s best to the surrounding community.

40th in State

40th in State photo
Harborfields High School was ranked No. 40 among the top 50 schools in New York State by the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of Best High Schools released on May 9. In order to determine state and nation-wide rankings, U.S. News & World Report compiles data from over 20,000 schools in all 50 states, and in the District of Columbia.

This high ranking indicates that Harborfields High School serves its students well, using math and reading portions of state proficiency tests, as well as graduation rates, as a measurement against other schools in the state.

“This recognition is just one of the many measures of the success and excellence of our Harborfields Family,” said Superintendent Dr. Francesco Ianni. “The faculty and staff, in close partnership with our parents, have given our children every opportunity to reach their fullest potential. I join with the Board of Education and our wonderful Harborfields school community in congratulating our students and staff on this well-deserved recognition.”

Harborfields Musicians Perform in Prestigious Festival

Harborfields Musicians Perform in Prestigious Festival photo
Harborfields High School band students Melanie Bautista, Jay Best, Audrey Lenahan, and Tiffany Rounsavall were selected to perform in the 14th Annual LIU Post Band Festival on April 14. Students played in the Tilles Festival band, an ensemble composed of the LIU Post Wind Symphony and exceptional high school musicians from across the New York metropolitan area.

The students attended two rehearsals prior to the concert and had the honor of working with world-renowned band composer Mark Camphouse. Over 250 students from 40 different high schools across Long Island were nominated for this honors ensemble, and only 124 were chosen to participate. Congratulations!

Outstanding Leadership

Outstanding Leadership photo
Six Harborfields students were awarded Suffolk Zone Outstanding Leadership Awards. Thomas J. Lahey students Elisabeth Barbo, Jackson Donohue, Gwyneth Schulman, and Michael Slear, and Oldfield Middle School students Domenic Algeri and Caroline Kenrick were nominated and selected for this award. To be a recipient, students must be positive role models and leaders in their physical education classes.

FBI at Washington Drive

FBI at Washington Drive photo
On April 23, Mr. Coppala’s 1st grade class at Washington Drive Primary was visited by some special guests for career day. Joanne Tracey, an FBI agent and aunt of WD student Mateo, brought her two colleagues and an official FBI Crime Dog named Harley.

To demonstrate how FBI agents use crime dogs, Harley was commanded to sniff out iPhones hidden in the cafeteria, of which she found all five. Students enjoyed learning about this exciting career, and few even expressed interest in pursuing that as a career path in the future!

VIDEO: Getting a Handle On Bike Safety

Getting a Handle On Bike Safety photo